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Iowa Cop's Near-Death Experience Prompts Effort to Save Lives

DES MOINES, Iowa --

A retired Des Moines police officer asked the community to join an effort to save lives.

Dan Dusenbery went into cardiac arrest during breakfast just two days before he retired.

Two police officers and five firefighters resuscitated him using CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED).

"When minutes count, that's when you need an AED right there," Dusenbery said.

Dusenbery said that less than 5 percent of those who go into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive, so he feels lucky to be alive, and he wants every Des Moines patrol car to have an AED.

Dusenbery said that police officers are trained to use the device and are often first at the scene.

AEDs cost about $2,000, and there are more than 80 patrol cars at the Des Moines Police Department.

Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Chris Scott said AEDs are a great tool but are expensive.

"The city of Des Moines doesn't have an endless budget," he said. "We have our limits, and we have to work within those limits."

Dusenbery is asking the community to make donations and save more lives.

"I'm alive today because of an AED," he said. "Every day is a miracle, and I'd like to be able to share that with the 85 percent of the people who die without them."

Donations can be made to the Des Moines Police Burial Association AED Fund. Donations are tax-deductible.

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